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War Memorial Records

Freeholders' records search screen Example of an online index available on the PRONI website Researching the records
War Memorial records have now been digitised and are available to view online.  These records contain details of soldiers from the city who fought and died during the First World War.  

The War Memorial

In 1919 the Mayor of the city, Sir Robert Anderson, JP, set up the War Memorial Fund.  This fund was devoted to the creation of a memorial to commemorate the lives of the soldiers from the city who fought and died during the First World War.
The Memorial was erected in 1927 and stands in the Diamond.  It consists of a central column surmounted by a graceful figure of Peace, holding aloft the laurel wreath of Victory.  The central column is flanked by lower columns - one contains a soldier in the act of taking a trench and a sailor on the deck of a ship.  Four panels contain the names of those who died.  The designer of the Memorial was a Vernon March of Kent, England.

'Names of the Fallen' from the Derry~Londonderry War Memorial

We can find out more about the soldiers named on the War Memorial from the War Memorial Register records. Forms were sent out by the Secretary of the City of Derry War Memorial Committee to the next of kin of the fallen soldiers.
The forms were sent out to the family to confirm or amend the information.  The forms were then returned to the Committee prior to the names being included on the War Memorial itself. The forms contain the following information about each soldier:  
  • Surname
  • Rank
  • Christian or Forenames (in full)
  • Regimental Number
  • Military Honours
  • Particulars of Company, Battery, etc., and, in case of Naval Units, the name of the Ship
  • Regiment
  • Nature of death (if desired and if particulars are available)
  • Date of death
  • Native place of deceased (if not a native of Londonderry state connection with City)
  • Any other particulars in reference to Soldier (if desired)
  • Signature of next of kin
  • Relationship of next of kin
  • Address of next of kin

Search the War Memorial Records

These records form four volumes of the 'Names of the Fallen'.  The volumes have been digitised and are available to view below.
The information is ordered alphabetically by surname of soldier.  The original, physical volumes are held by Derry City  and Strabane District Council Archive and Genealogy Service.
Links open as PDF documents. To access them you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader v7 or later installed on your computer. To download this free software, visit the download pages of the Adobe website.Opens a new browser window.

Volume 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Volume 4

Highlight from the records

Volume 1, form 170 of the Names of the Fallen includes a letter from the front, from Denis Doak, the brother of Private Hugh Doak of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers who was killed in action by a sniper in Gallipoli on 9th May 1915.  The letter reads:
"Dear Father
I am well up to the present.  We have had lots of fighting since we arrived here.  We are getting on very strong and gaining ground every other day.  We have had no rest for a solid fortnight so you may guess what it's like out here.  Our regiment has made a good name for itself since the start of this new war.  I can tell you that I had a narrow shave one second saved my life.
I am sorry to tell you that my brother was killed by a sniper at 6 o'clock in the morning when digging a gun pit for the machine gun.  He was shot through the wind pipe.  R.I.P. Hugh Doak R.I.P
I don't think this will be more than another month. I am in Turkey but I hope not for very long as soon as you receive this letter get me a pack of cigarettes as we will not get a smoke.  Don't forget that to.  I am your sincere son Denis Doak."

Census Records

A search of the census records also available online provides more information on the Doak family:
Census record for Doak family

The Diamond War Memorial Project

The Holywell Trust, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, carried out a detailed research project in 2008 which uncovered over 400 names which had been overlooked.  You can find out more about the Diamond War Memorial project on their website.